“Real Management”, created of the words Real Estate & Management, is a polymath business that deals in four key areas – Property Management, Facilities Management, Property Sales, and Property Maintenance. Founded in 2016 by Sole Director and Principal Licensee, Michael Mitchell, but also later supported by Michael’s wife, Mariah Mitchell, is a family business which draws on knowledge and experience of 3 generations of Real Estate Management.
Being a small business allows agility, flexibility, and adaptability to suit client & customer needs and provide a wider range of services in-house not typically afforded by a regular real estate business, which results in faster turnaround times, better service, better advice, better knowledge, and generally better rates. Not being part of a corporate entity (such as most franchised agencies) gives the freedom do things the way we want to achieve the results you want. We are results-focused, and how the results are achieved is less important so long as the result is achieved, provided it is done in a moral, ethical and legal manner. A Landlord should never lose money because their property has not been managed right. That is the number one take home for our Owners. When your asset manager does their job right you do not lose money.
In Michael’s formative years, sports cars were his passion. A strong work ethic saw Michael usually working at least 2 jobs at a time to fund his hobby, which was rewarding yet unfulfilling, and by mid-20’s Michael knew a change was needed to progress with the next stage of his life. Michael sold up his interests in sports cars and started learning about investing in property. In the space of 3 years, Michael had accumulated 3 properties and negotiated the purchase of his Management & Letting Rights business (a 78-unit complex on 1.3ha parcel of land 10km from Brisbane CBD, also the purchase of a Unit which required the sub-division of a large 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 4 car space unit & the remedial works to turn it into two x 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car space units). Along the way Michael improved, renovated and flipped most of his investment properties to divest and focus solely on his MLR business and build his rent roll. In the first year of business Michael secured 26 properties under management, in the second year of business that number nearly doubled to just under 50. In the third year of business that number is on track to reach 80 properties under management.
Michael has a Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate), is a fully licenced Real Estate Agent, is a practicing member of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and his business is an REIQ-Accredited Agency. Michael is also an ABMA Accredited Building Manager & Trainer, and a member of the ABMA Independent Review Panel, which is a cross-sectorial collaboration of industry experts that meet bi-annually to discuss and address issues of sustainable performance, compliance, functionality & amenity in the maintenance of structures, including their ancillary infrastructure, via the ABMA Building Management Code. Michael is also a practicing member of Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association (ARAMA), as well as serving as the Secretary for the ARAMA Brisbane Committee for a short time and now maintains an ongoing committee member position. A large portion of Michael’s business and property interests are Strata-based which is governed by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (BCCMA), as such Michael is also a member of the SCA (Strata Communities Australia); all of these are the leading industry bodies and by having an active ongoing involvement enables Michael to stay up to date with legislative changes and continued professional development.
Prior to Real Estate Management, Michael worked in ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) for just under 10 years in a range of roles spanning across Levels 1-2 Technical Support, Desktop Support, SOE, Procurement, Purchasing, Asset Management, Billing Analysis, Technical Writing and Mobile Support. Michael has various Certifications and Qualifications to accompany his experience gained in ICT, including ITIL, which enables him to run and operate his businesses in a tech-savvy way utilising and leveraging technology. Notable companies Michael has previously worked for include Melbourne IT, Life Line, Uniting Care Queensland and Queensland Health. Michael also started and continues to operate his favourite hobby business, CutMyGrass.com.au - a lawn mowing and gardening services business, which Michael has a Certificate III in Landscape Construction, and has done over 1,500 jobs since 2009 on the side of 'normal' work as a way to keep fit, stay active and meet new people.
Together, Michael & Mariah have one child, Corbin, and are kept very busy with their assortment of pets - 2 mastiffs, 1 pug, 2 cats, fish and a reptile! Their long-term goal is to buy an acreage. Mariah runs Freedom Pet Services and loves working with animals, especially dog training & obedience, and rehabilitating and rehoming rescue dogs. Mariah has a Certificate III in Companion Animal Services and also a Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate) and is a licenced Real Estate Agent. Mariah previously managed a Midas franchise store and also shares a similar passion for cars, having worked at Repco, Bridgestone, and also owning a Torana.
It’s exciting! Buying an asset to create passive income is a great feeling. I have been through this journey many times myself, and now manage many tens of millions of dollars’ worth of others’ properties. Suffice to say, we know what we are doing, and we know what you as Owners expect and the stresses and pressures you face. We work with you and welcome questions and feedback. By teaching we improve our own learning and understanding.
When you work back from the worst-case scenarios such as heading to QCAT to enforce rights under a contract (such as a tenancy lease) or dealing with loss adjusters and insurers for claims against tenants, it is absolute paramount that your property manager has done their job right. The most critical factors are documents and record keeping – it must be perfect otherwise you risk losing money.
Parallel to the importance of administration processes and procedures, is the handling of Trust monies (your money), collected on your behalf by your Agent. Real Estate is a regulated industry by the Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Failing to comply with these legislations can lead to fines, penalties, loss of licence, litigation and even gaol time. It’s serious stuff. The five main pieces of legislation that govern the industry are the:
Documents & materials for properties we manage. Some you will need to provide, some we can harvest from various sources and/or obtain for you, some costs may be involved, if cost is an issue we can work around some things, anything missing we can organise for you:
If you see a property advertised you may be interested in renting, please attend one of the open for inspections or book a viewing time. If you would like to proceed an application form along with the RTA’s Pocket Guide for Tenants Renting in Queensland (Form 17) will be emailed to you. Please complete and fill out and email back along with copies of your supporting documentation (Eg. pay slips, 100pts of ID, etc). Under the Act there are only 2 criteria a rental application can be judged on; your ability to pay the rent and your ability to maintain the property. If your application is not approved, please do not ask why as the Landlord does not tell us. If your application is approved, you will need to pay your first 2 weeks rent to secure the property (take it off the market) and your full bond before your lease commencement date. Please take due care when inspecting properties prior to applying as we are starting to see a rise in “renters’ remorse”, a phenomenon where tenants move in and then decide they’re not happy with the place or simply don’t like it and think they can make unreasonable requests of the Landlord to improve the property or let them out of their lease without compensation or reduce the rent, as if the contract they entered into meant nothing. Doesn’t work like that.
There are a number of terms and conditions all parties to the lease must abide by. The main ones, for Landlords, are to maintain the premise and ensure essential services are provided to the property. For tenants, it is to pay the rent, maintain the property in the condition they received it, and report any damage or maintenance issues in a timely manner. Routine inspections are conducted every 3 months. A Lessor/Agent cannot tell a Tenant how to live, for example untidy or messy clothes/belongings, choice of furniture, etc. However, when it comes to cleaning, if regular cleaning is not carried out then damage can start to occur, and this is why it is important to regularly clean your property as dirt/dust/grime build up can lead to corrosion and staining of fixtures, fittings and surfaces. As a rule of thumb and simply good practice, it is recommended that Tenants do make an effort to clean up and have things presented neat and tidy so the report presents well for the Landlord and also to allow the Agent to do their job of inspecting the physical premise in a timely and efficient manner.
90% of the properties we lease have been cleaned to a professional standard prior to letting. The standard a property is handed over at the start of a tenancy is recorded in the Entry Condition Report which is accompanied by date and time stamped photos. After living in the property it is expected there will be some wear and tear and that is normal. The Act states the Tenants must return the property in the same condition they received it less fair wear and tear. So in most cases, this means it will need to be cleaned to a professional standard. The Act does not require a tenant to use a ‘professional’ anything. They can clean themselves, they clean the carpets themselves, they can carry out pest control themselves, etc. However, in the majority of cases where the Tenants have elected to clean themselves, it is seldom up to spec and often they have had to go back numerous times and/or even get a professional in anyway. There is a reason professional cleaning is a huge industry, because it is a lot of hard work. We have a number of contractors we have personally used and can recommend if you do require help returning the property in a suitable state to hand back at the end of your tenancy.
Provided the property is individually metered and has a water compliance certificate, and the lease states the Tenant must pay for water usage, this is the process for how water billing is done:
We have a zero-tolerance policy for rent arrears. It doesn’t matter why it has occurred, all that matters is it is rectified as this is a serious breach of the tenancy agreement. A largely mechanical process is in place to deal with rent arrears and it goes as follows:
If you have an Emergency Repair as outlined below, please contact the office IMMEDIATELY and after contacting our office please follow your report with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the problem occurs outside of business hours please phone 0413 504 084 and if unanswered leave a detailed message with your name, address, nature of problem and return phone number. Please note, you must leave a message for your call to be returned. Also, please send a text message as well.
Follow any reported repairs with an email to email@example.com.
Please then allow a reasonable time for your call to be returned before contacting any Emergency Repair contractors
Section 30(1) of the Form 18a Standard Terms states that Emergency Repairs are:
*** Call ONLY in an EMERGENCY & If you are UNABLE to reach a REAL MGMT PTY LTD representative***REAL MGMT PTY LTD – Michael Mitchell, Ph: 0413 504 084 or Mariah Mitchell, Ph: 0423 404 505
We do not make excuses for bad landlords. Unfortunately, from time-to-time some Landlords may choose not to effect or attend to repairs and maintenance. We believe respect goes both ways with our Tenants, and in the event a Landlord has instructed us they will not be attending to something we believe they are obligated to under the Act (and have advised them accordingly), we will simply let you know this and all we can suggest is you may wish to seek guidance from the RTA by calling them on 1300 366 311. As an Agent we act for the Lessor and must follow their instructions; it is not our property.
How you receive the property at the start of your tenancy should be the same in every way as when you viewed the property, unless otherwise agreed. In this regard, the Lessor is under no obligation to agree to any requests for improvements to be made to the property during your tenancy, and if they will consider it, usually it would be in return for a slight increase in rent as the amenity to the property would increase. Common examples of improvement requests are adding fly screens, additional security measures such as flood lights, screens or bars on windows, CCTV, etc., air conditioning, ceiling fans, fencing and gates, so on and so forth. All these things cost money. Generally, if the property doesn’t already have it, it’s because the Lessor has chosen not to spend their money on it, and they’ve appointed the Agent to rent the property “as is” at the time of viewing. Please do not contact our office “demanding” that the Lessor install this or change that. If you do want to request improvements, it is best to “ask” and also provide a compensation plan such as “if the Lessor would consider installing air conditioning I would be happy to pay an extra $10 per week in rent”.
It is extremely expensive for a small business/individual to deal direct with the likes of Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au's, etc. As such this leaves little choice but to work as a conjunctive agent with an established brokerage firm/agency that has the capital and resources to do so. In this regard, I sell as a conjunctive agent through Next Realty. You can view my member profile here.
Please visit our other business website - www.cutmygrass.com.au